South Effingham High School

Defense leads the way for SEHS spring football


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May 25, 2016

By Patrick Donahue


South Effingham's less experienced football players got a chance to get up to speed at the start of spring football practice.

The Mustangs coaches chose to have their younger players get two days of instruction on the practice field before bringing out the older players.

“We wanted to start them early and catch them up a little bit, head coach Donnie Revell said. “We wound up having a lot of changes because the baseball team made the Final Four. The returning guys already know what the system is. We think that part of it has been positive. We had the weather but it worked out really well.

While a handful of football players were involved in the baseball’s postseason run that ended just two days before the spring game, the Mustangs also have to find a replacement for left fielder on the baseball team and quarterback Tyler Pullum. Pullum was a three-year starter and completed more than 60 percent of his passes for 1,665 yards and 15 touchdowns last season.

South Effingham also has to replace four starters along the offensive line and starting running back Patrick Brown, who amassed 1,624 yards on the ground. The Mustangs also have to find replacements for fullback Nick Reno, short-yardage specialist Kareem Taylor and leading receiver Marcus Boyd, losing eight starters in all on offense.

“That’s a huge gap to fill, Revell said. “We’ve got some kids who are working hard and we have to get better every day. The kids practiced hard. We’ve got a long way to go and we’ve got a lot of holes to fill, especially on the offensive line. It’s been a little tough for them during the spring.

During the varsity portion of the spring game, Anthony Beck, Chris Glisson and Joey Lee took snaps at quarterback, Taylor Jackson and Jake Valleroy ran the offense during the junior varsity segment.

The Mustangs defense held firm for much of the scrimmage, and there are seven starters coming back on that side. The defense will be led by Makenzy Newbill and Makenly Newbill, who combined for 200 tackles last season.

“They had a real good spring, Revell said. “We’ve got seven guys coming back and a couple of underclassmen coming up and a couple of guys who couldn’t go through spring. Defensively, we’re strong up front and inside.

Revell said the Mustangs defense has been toiling relentlessly since the start of the new year, pulling sleds in their free time on top of the work they put in during their weightlifting class.

“They’ve been really dedicated and they’ve got a mission to take the next step, the coach said.

And Revell was glad the Mustangs were able to squeeze in the spring game between storms and without injuries, heading into the offseason workouts.

“It doesn’t get better than that, he said. “Now the work really starts.





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